Belfast Exposed


5th Sep - 28th Sep

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4th Jul - 27th Jul


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25th Sep - 7th Oct

Young People Behind the Lens

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21st May - 22nd May

Showing the faces of dementia with Alzheimer’s NI

Ahead of the Alzheimer’s Society Annual Conference 2019 (ASAC19), Belfast Exposed was commissioned by Alzheimer’s NI to w...

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Proof of Ghosts

Studio Gallery

3rd Mar 2022 to 16th Apr 2022

About The Exhibition

Belfast Exposed is proud to present Proof of Ghosts by artist, Joan Alexander.

In our Studio Gallery, Joan Alexander, a Belfast Exposed Future's artist, navigates a sudden bereavement with the raw ingredients of photography and a blog. She uses the space to explore the traumatic tangle of time that follows death. Working with test strips, shadows and tracings, images are dismantled and rebuilt to pursue signs of presence. Proof of Ghosts structures solitary grief and opens the question of how do we still mourn?

In the aftermath of the sudden death of her father two years ago, Joan responded to his absence through photography. We see in image and text how she used her camera to deal with raw private grief, edged about by the public rituals of mourning in rural Tyrone. In Proof of Ghosts, Joan asks questions about the nature of this loss, no less bewildering for being universal. She investigates the cultural entanglement of photography with death and wonders how photography might presage, suspend or process it. This is a deeply personal yet widely resonant exploration of the dead, and the living who mourn.

The Artists

Joan Alexander

Artist Biography

Joan Alexander is a research-based artist based in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland. She studied Philosophy at Queens University of Belfast and the Institute of Philosophy KU Leuven, before completing her Masters in photography at the University of Brighton.

Joan uses philosophy, photography and drawing in equal measure for her work which stems from an engagement with moving light and cast shadows.

She is currently a Belfast Exposed Futures artist, most recently her work was shown at Centre for Contemporary Art L/Derry for ‘FastSlowFast; Ideas of Temporality and the Evidence of Presence through Absence and ‘Through the Looking Glass; ‘Humanities Changing Vision of the Universe’ with Lumen Collective London. Previous commissions and awards include Dear Serge, De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill-on-Sea, Making Space residency, Fabrica Gallery, Brighton, the Danny Wilson Memorial Award Brighton Photo Fringe and Magenta Flash Forward UK Winner.

Joan has been delivering arts education workshops through her company Shadow Studio which has been the recipient of awards for innovation and outreach from Arts Council NI, University of Brighton and Santander Innovation prize.


Exhibition Opening

Thursday 3rd March | 6:00pm - 9:00pm | Belfast Exposed



'Proof of Ghosts' are generously sponsored by Arts Council NI ACES award, the Causeway Coast and Glens Artists Bursary Award, the Freelands Artists Emergency fund, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and funded by Belfast City Council.